Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health Officer, released the following statement on prolonged heat warnings across the province. British Columbia :

“As we head into the BC Day long weekend, we are seeing prolonged warm temperatures in many parts of the province with minimal cooling overnight. We encourage everyone to keep in mind that high indoor temperatures can be dangerous for vulnerable people and those more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and to check them regularly.

“The people most susceptible to heat-related illnesses are the elderly, people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease. All of these people are at higher risk if they live alone or are socially isolated.

“The prolonged heat across British Columbia this weekend means extra care is needed indoors and out, especially for workers and other strenuous activity people. Anyone who works outdoors should take regular breaks and seek out cool places as often as possible. Employers are encouraged to make this possible.

“To help people cope with the prolonged heat, many communities have opened cooling centers and misting stations. Residents are encouraged to check with their municipality, regional district or First Nation for the most up-to-date information.

“Just as it’s important to stay cool this weekend, it’s also important to check in frequently with those most at risk, especially if they live alone. Check in at least twice a day and once in the evening when it is warmest inside Help them find an air-conditioned space if possible Encourage those who may not know they are at higher risk to take cool baths, sleep in the coolest room or stay with friends.

“If you have air conditioning and high-risk family members don’t, bring them into your home. Never leave children, dependent adults, or pets alone in a parked car, even for a short period of time. Leaving the windows open will not help.

“Everyone is reminded to drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay hydrated, even if you are not thirsty. Spray some water on your body, wear a damp shirt, take a shower or cool bath, or sit with part of your body in the water to cool off.

“Keep your indoor environment as cool as possible. Use air conditioning if you have it. Close blinds and curtains during the day to protect yourself from the sun, and close windows when it’s warmer outside than inside to trap cooler air inside. Open windows and doors late at night and early in the morning to bring as much fresh air inside as possible. Identify a cooler space in your home and prepare it for overnight stays, if possible.

“Anyone feeling unwell from the heat should take immediate action to cool down. Signs of overheating include feeling sick, headache, and dizziness. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It’s important to take it slow, especially during the hottest hours of the day, stay in the shade as much as possible, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

“You can call HealthLinkBC at 811 and speak to a nurse or go to an urgent care center or clinic if it is safe to do so. This way, emergency medical dispatch personnel and paramedics will be available to those who need their services the most.

Learn more:

For more information on preparing for heat episodes, including those most exposed to heat, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/preparing-for-heat-events

For online tools, including a “check your symptoms” tool, visit: healthlinkbc.ca

Weather alerts from Environment and Climate Change Canada: https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=bc

EmergencyInfoBC Heat Warning and Cooling Center Information:
The Web: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBC

PreparedBC heat preparation information:
Extreme heat preparation guide: www.preparedbc.ca/extremeheat
acebook: www.facebook.com/PreparedBC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PreparedBC

For more information on the National Collaborating Center for Environmental Health’s extreme heat health checks, visit: https://ncceh.ca/documents/guide/health-checks-during-extreme-heat-events